1In due course John the Baptist appeared; he proclaimed this message in the desert of Judaea, 2'Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is close at hand.' 3This was the man spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said: A voice of one that cries in the desert,'Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight.' 4This man John wore a garment made of camel-hair with a leather loin-cloth round his waist, and hisfood was locusts and wild honey. 5Then Jerusalem and al Judaea and the whole Jordan district made their way to him, 6and as they were baptised by him in the river Jordan they confessed their sins. 7But when he saw a number of Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism he said to them, 'Brood ofvipers, who warned you to flee from the coming retribution? 8Produce fruit in keeping with repentance, 9and do not presume to tell yourselves, "We have Abraham as our father," because, I tel you, God canraise children for Abraham from these stones. 10Even now the axe is being laid to the root of the trees, so that any tree failing to produce good fruit wilbe cut down and thrown on the fire. 11I baptise you in water for repentance, but the one who comes after me is more powerful than I, and Iam not fit to carry his sandals; he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12His winnowing-fan is in his hand; he will clear his threshing-floor and gather his wheat into his barn;but the chaff he will burn in a fire that wil never go out.' 13Then Jesus appeared: he came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptised by John. 14John tried to dissuade him, with the words, 'It is I who need baptism from you, and yet you come tome!' 15But Jesus replied, 'Leave it like this for the time being; it is fitting that we should, in this way, do al thatuprightness demands.' Then John gave in to him. 16And when Jesus had been baptised he at once came up from the water, and suddenly the heavensopened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on him. 17And suddenly there was a voice from heaven, 'This is my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on him.'
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